Tuesday, March 31, 2009

cracked up to be

Author: Courtney Summers (214pg)

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Favorite Character: Parker-She's the main character with a major attitude; living proof that even the "it" girl has problems.

Summary: When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.
Something terrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

Review: I was really excited to read this! The storyline was interesting and didn't slow down too much. Scenes were described wonderfully in order to set the mood and fit the plot. Some parts were a bit repetitive when flashing back to Parker's memories and I thought them to be a little unnecessary. Parker's dilemma and thoughts are described well and it lets you in on Parker's motives and mind. The "nice guy" she meets is really awesome. He isn't exactly perfect, but instead he's human and relatable to! Yey!

I think the author is a bit mistaken or she may have wanted to increase the gravity of the situation, but there was a lot more cussing than you would hear in a typical high school-much less in a Catholic one. Overall, it was an awesome book on a very serious subject. Parker feels guilt for something she didn't do which she thinks that as the perfectionist she was she should have done. What makes this book amazing is that some people do face those issues and they need help to organize themselves and accept that life happens. Not everyone is perfect, but anyone can be a good friend.
Rating: 4/5

You might also like:
1. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
2. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Countess Below Stairs

Author: Eva Ibbotson (383pg)

Publisher: Speak (Penguin Group)

Favorite Character: Anna-Her heart is worn on her sleeve and her honesty is incomparable. Anna deserves happiness because of her wonderfully optimistic outlook.

Summary: After the Russian Revolution turns her world topsy-turvy, Anna, a young Russian countess, has no choice but to flee to England. Penniless, Anna hides her aristocratic background and takes a job as servant in the household of the esteemed Westerholme family, armed only with an outdated housekeeping manual and sheer determination. Desperate to keep her past a secret, Anna is nearly overwhelmed by her new duties-not to mention her instant attraction to Rupert, the handsome Earl of Westerholme. To make matters worse, Rupert appears to be falling for her as well. As their attraction grows stronger, Anna finds it more and more difficult to keep her most dearly held secrets from unraveling. And then there's the small matter of Rupert's beautiful and nasty fiancee. . .

Review: First off, the first 100 pages were a drag. The very beginning was okay, but the rest was quite unexciting. The characters, though, are amazing because it is original and interesting! Here we have a humble Russian countess working as a servant for the nice guy she's falling for. We have his promised wife who is really weird because eugenics are her thing(she's also goddess-like) and then we have an arrogant "doctor" who's bent on creating a bunch of perfect humans. I really liked the story even with those hundred pages. The author was descriptive, sometimes excessively, so you got a good handle on the scenes and sorroundings and some parts were really funny! I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants a tale of old-fashion love with some interestingly serious obstacles.

Rating: 3.5 /5 - It's better than many, but the slowness in about a 1/3 of the book doesn't give it a 4 in my opinion.

You might also like:
1. A great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
2. The luxe by Anna Godbersen

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dime Si Te Vas Con El

Artist: DJ Flex feat Pee Wee!!

Information: This was the presentation for Premio Lo Nuestro 2009 which aired March 26. I didn't watch it all, but this part rocked. When Pee Wee Gonzalez (Irvin Salinas) came on, I thought I was gonna melt, and Flex is pretty famous now in Latin America because of his song Te Quiero which he got a prize for. Anyway, DJ Flex is from Panama and Gonzalez was a former member of The Kumbia All Starz. He is pretty cool! This song is getting a lot of publicity right now and it'll probably be a top hit worthy of a prize, hopefully. This performance is in no way their best. Pee Wee is a little weird in the end of it because he is just very passionate, but some people like him because of that. Flex did seem to be on the top of his game though and this song is more reggaeton-like than the other one. The point is that I really like it!

This is another song by Pee Wee with La Nueva Banda Timbiriche! Quedate is the title. This was a presentation on a song/dance competition latin show from a couple months ago! He has a nice versatile voice! *melting*

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You Are So UNDEAD To Me

Author: Stacey Joy (263pg)

Publisher: Razor Bill (Penguin Group)

Summary: (back)
Q: How many zombies does it take to ruin a social life?

A: Not many.

Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a whole bunch of semi-dead people with killer issues. All Megan really wants is to go to homecoming, but when you're trailed by a bunch of slobbering corpses whenever you leave the house, it's kinda hard to score a date. Let's just say Megan's love life could use some major resuscitation.

Megan's convinced her life can't get any worse-until someone in school starts using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into scary, hardcore flesh-eating Zombies. Now it's up to Megan to stop the Zombie apocalypse. Her life-and more importantly, the homecoming dance-depends on it.

Review: This is the first book I have read concerning zombies and I love it! The story was interesting, fast-paced, fun and exciting. Megan is a regular girl with a gift she would rather not have. She was easy to identify with even though she kind of seemed mature for a fifteen year old. My favorite character would have to be Ethan though because he is another example of the perfect guy. He is/was Megan's best friend from when they were younger. The details weren't boring, but instead they were necessary to the story's overall appearance. I liked the way the flashbacks were presented and I really like Megan's tone. Sometimes it can be sarcastic. From what I have read, it is a really original story with cool characters and great mood!
Rating: 5/5

You might also like:
1. Don't Die Drangonfly by Linda Joy Singleton (maybe?)

Monday, March 23, 2009


Author: Scott Westerfeld

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books

Summary: (inside flap) It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules.

As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. Her only chance to escape extra-land is to find a big story to kick-something wild and unexpected.

Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. But the Sly Girls are hiding something bigger-an explosive discovery that may change the face of the brave new world forever. If Aya kicks this story, she'll be propelled into the world of fame, celebrity...and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for.

Review: Scott Westerfeld knows how to write an exciting story with an awesome cast of characters which you get to know like. . .the back of your hand? (I lack creativity) Everytime I read his writing, Scott Westerfeld paints the scene out for me. In a story like this, you absolutely won't feel left out since the feel, the textures, everything, you are also experiencing it. He develops the characters fully in this book because to me the main character is actually normal even with all the abnormality goin' on here.

The book is in third person, which sometimes limits how personal you get to the people in the story, but his descriptions and the way Aya evolves makes it seem as though Aya herself is telling the story. Aya isn't the perfect person, but she is mostly good which is what the usual person is like. I kind of liked that this one wasn't through Tally even though she was the main character in the first three books of this series. Aya was new and I really identified with her personality 'cause the other stuff is just weird. It is a little eyebrow-raising at how good the author is at making a whole different civilization seem real. It all comes back to how detailed the story is. In a lot of books I have found that being too detailed bores the heck outta me, but this book makes everything flow together seamlessly which is good! I recommend everyone read this book and the first three in the series! (Uglies, Pretties, Specials)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chao Nan Zheng Zhuan (Trendy Man Chronicles)

Artist: Show Luo aka Luo Zhi Xiang aka Mr. Pig aka Xiao Zhu aka Asian Dance King

Yep, I'm obsessed with this song and is there any way you can blame me when Xiao Zhu is amazing? He's a host on Yu Le Bai Fen Bai, he can dance, sing. He is also hilarious and a great actor. I'm watching Hot Shot (taiwanese drama) right now and the three main characters are Xiao Zhu, Jerry and Wu Zun!! Anyway, this song rocks! What do you give it? Me?


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Life As We Knew It

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer

Publisher: Harcourt Books

Summary: The moon is knocked closer to the Earth by an impossibly dense asteroid. Now, the world is suddenly changing. Tsunamis and Volcanic eruptions and below zero temps are blasting all around the world. Miranda writes about what she sees in her diary; she writes about rationing food, empty roads, looting, despair and about how her family holds together even when they sometimes lose all hope.

Review: Every time that I put down this book, (potty breaks and hunger kept me from reading it in one sitting) I would freak out and think about how much food was left in my pantry or about how scary it was that it was still snowing here in March. I think that any world crisis would cause some panic. The economic crisis did touch everyone after all and the thought of global warming gives me shivers! I really liked the way the author presented Miranda's diary of her life during such a difficult time. The story was extremely thought-provoking since it is hard to imagine the U.S without its normal luxeries. Some of the story was too repetitive or just too detailed for me to care and it was actually a pretty long book considering what I expected. I would like you to read it if only for the situation it represents through a teenager's eyes.
Rating: 4/5

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mary, Bloody Mary

Author: Carolyn Meyer

Publisher: Gulliver Books Harcourt Brace & Company

Summary: Imagine. You are Mary Tudor, a beautiful young princess in a grand palace filled with servants. You are accustomed to sparkling jewels, beautiful gowns and lavish parties. Then, suddenly, you are banished by your father, King Henry VIII, to live in a cold, lonely place without money, new clothes, or even your mother.

At first it seems like a terrible mistake. Even when your father has a public and humiliating affair with a bewitching woman, you remain hopeful. But when he abandons your mother, marries his mistress, and has a child with her, you begin to lose faith. And now, dressed in rags, you are summoned back to the palace to be a serving maid to your new baby stepsister.

Review: England and its monarchs are very interesting to learn about. I especially liked reading anything and everything about Elizabeth who was Mary's stepsister. Elizabeth had always seemed like the good one and I was always on her side, hating Mary Tudor. Mary's side of the story is very moving and I've decided that I would hate Elizabeth too if I had gone through the experiences Mary did. It is a fiction piece so some of it must have been exaggerated, but nevertheless it was still shocking to peer into Mary's terrible childhood. I would have opted for suicide even though I believe that to be EXTREMELY bad. Her life pretty much sucked.

Rating: 5/5

You might also like:

1. Queen in Waiting: A Life of "Bloody Mary" Tudor by Georgess McHargue
2. Mary Tudor: Courageous Queen or Bloody Mary by Jane Buchanan

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Info: This is a Japanese T.V. show currently airing. Its about two teens trying to solve mysteries. The two main characters are Touma and Kana. They are both seventeen even though Touma is an MIT graduate because he is a very introverted genius. Kana is Captain of the Kendo club and very extroverted. She's the one that drags Touma around to all those murder scenes. Its based on the manga by Kato Motohiro.


Kana played by Takahashi Ai
Touma played by Nakamura Aoi

Review?: These are just my thoughts on the drama. I actually really like it beacause I really like mystery. Kana is a really sweet energetic girl and her dad is a detective. Touma is super intelligent, but he's still very nice to Kana. Maybe it'll turn into a romance by the end of it! It's a really cute show and the mysteries are actually pretty interesting.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Step From Heaven

Author: An Na (156p)

Publisher: Front Street

Summary: (inside flap) "I am looking for Harabugi all over Gomo's house. There are so many rooms. All of the floors are covered with a warm white blanket that is soft on my feet. And the rooms do not have rice paper doors but a big piece of wood like the stores in the village. Everyone in heaven must be very rich to have so many blankets and wooden doors inside the house."

In this first novel, a young girl describes her family's bittersweet experience in the United States after their emigration from Korea. While going up and up into the sky on the flight from Korea to California, four-year-old Young Ju and her parents and little brother struggle in their new world weighed down by the difficulty of learning English, their insular family life, and the traditions of the country they left behind. An Na's striking language authentically reflects the process of acculturation as Young Ju grows from a child to an adult.

Review: The story line drew me in from the start. I could really identify with the story since I have sort of gone through "the process of acculturation" and some of the other things that come with immigration. The story's layout was great and you could really understand the main character. Young Ju's story wasn't a lovely one, in Korea or in the U.S, but she tried her hardest to break past the prejudices of the people around her and those of her very own family. Some of my objections to the book are the first two pages and the way dialogue was written. The very first two pages were hard to get into because they were written from a three-year-old's point of view I believe. The sentences were broken up and it was almost like a poem. It wasn't poorly written. On the contrary, the realisticness of the memory is well portrayed. For a while, until Young Ju is old enough to understand things I suppose, there are no quotes to surround the dialogue. But sometimes, in the Young Ju's older stage, some dialogue was still unsurrounded by quotes. I understand that this has pretty much a negligible bearing on the story, but it kind of confused me. Another excellent story on family life and dealing with change.

Rating: 5/5

You might also like:
1. Roots and Wings by Many Ly
2. Ties That Bind, Ties That Break by Lensey Namioka